High Speed Rail

High Speed Rail – Dallas to Houston

The Dallas to Houston High Speed Rail Project connects two major U.S. metropolitan areas in less than 90 minutes via an approximately 240-mile passenger route. This project is being led by Amtrak and Texas Central Partners ("Texas Central").

In September 2020 the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) released the Record of Decision (ROD) and the final Rule of Particular Applicability (RPA) for the project. The RPA provides the regulatory framework, establishing a comprehensive set of safety requirements to govern the system's signal and trainset control, track, rolling stock, operating rules and practices, system qualifications, and maintenance. The ROD completes the FRA's environmental review process that began in 2014 as required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and culminated with the publication of the 10,000+ page Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) released on May 29, 2020. The ROD formally selects the alignment between Dallas and Houston.

Since 2016, Amtrak and Texas Central have been cooperating on various initiatives, including providing through-ticketing using the Amtrak reservation system and other support services for the planned high-speed rail line. More recently, Texas Central and Amtrak have been collaborating on opportunities related to the project and jointly submitted applications to several federal programs in connection with further study and design work for the segment (Texas Central and Amtrak Seek to Explore High-Speed Rail Service Opportunities between Dallas and Houston - Amtrak Media.) These applications include the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure Safety and Improvements (CRISI) grant program, the Corridor Identification and Development program (Corridor ID), and the Federal-State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail (FSP National) grant program. And, in December 2023 the project was awarded $500,000 from the "first step" Corridor ID grant program setting the stage for further grant funding.

With passage of the Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act, Amtrak has engaged in a more focused approach to high-speed rail opportunities throughout the United States. To lead the effort, Amtrak hired Andy Byford in April 2023 as the Senior Vice President of High-Speed Rail Development Programs. In the newly created role, Mr. Byford is tasked with developing and leading the execution of Amtrak's long-term strategy for high-speed rail throughout the country. The Dallas to Houston project is one of the high-priority projects.

On August 24, 2016, the Dallas City Council authorized a Cooperation Agreement with Texas Central Rail Holdings LLC to agree upon both entities working together throughout the federal, state and local review processes. Key Performance Criteria the City of Dallas aims to achieve are:

  • Economic and Environmental Sustainability
  • Economic Development
  • High Quality Urban Design
  • Infrastructure Enhancement and Circulation Improvements
  • Multi-Modal Transportation Connections
  • Revenue Enhancements for City Facilities

 High Speed Rail – Dallas to Fort Worth

The North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) is leading a study to extend the Dallas-Houston high-speed rail project to Fort Worth (NCTCOG Dallas to Fort Worth High Speed Rail).

This project was awarded $500,000 from the FRA under the Corridor ID Program which will be used to develop a scope, schedule and cost estimate for preparing a service development plan for the corridor.

 Typical Project Development Process and Timelines
Typical Project Development Process and Timelines